Genesis Avalon by Kathryn Pryde

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Download all episodes of Genesis Avalon from Pendant Audio

Pendant Audio Productions, February 2012
Genesis Avalon had its origins in two specific comic traditions: the anime of the 1990s, and the comic books of a much earlier period. Beginning in September 2009, it focuses on the adventures of Jaina Masterson (Laura Post), an all-American girl who finds - quite by chance - that she has been chosen to be the next Priestess of Avalon. With the responsibility of sustaining the balance between good and evil, she draws on the powers of the Celtic gods to help save the world.

In her efforts she is aided (or perhaps abetted) by a black cat named Noir possessing secrets of his own, and an intrepid reporter - male, of course - Julian Alexander (Trent Clifton), who follows her faithfully throughout all her travels (or should it be travails?). This is the story of someone swept up in the task of fighting battles, when she does not really want to do so. She operates in a world where good and evil are difficult to identify; hence she is charged with the responsibility of making her own decisions and facing the consequences of them. Sometimes they work; on other occasions they prove to be bad decisions. But this is the only way she can learn what the responsibility of being a Priestess of Avalon actually entails.

In truth, the roots of Genesis Avalon date back far beyond the anime era to the time of the Hollywood Poverty Row studios, that serial after serial  for Saturday morning audiences. The structure of each episode is roughly similar: Jaina is faced with a series of obstacles and tries her best to overcome them. Yet this repetition is part of the serial's attraction: we take pleasure in listening to the way she responds to each challenge, and how such challenges affect her character.

In truth, I found that some of the episodes tended to sag somewhat: too much talk and not enough action. Perhaps some judicious editorial pruning might come in handy. Nonetheless I recognize creator/ writer/ director Pryde's achievement in creating a compelling serial. I look forward to hearing more about Jaina's travails in the future.